“Light the City — Georgetown,” a community celebration of unity and faith, is set to take place on the evening of Sept. 12, beginning with a Vigil Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church at 5:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., a list of participating houses of worship will be handed out, along with candles for those wishing to be “Human Luminaries” as they walk from the west side of Georgetown, praying at or visiting churches and synagogues along the way, to a gathering at Epiphany Catholic Church on the east side of Georgetown at 8 p.m.
The event parallels a Dupont Circle community of faith event called “Light the City,” also set for Sept. 12 and beginning at St. Matthews Catholic Cathedral, which started the event this past winter. The concept is based on “Night Fever,” which began in Germany in 2005, following the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne, and takes place in more than 80 cities across Europe, Australia and North and South America.
The organizers have this advice for those who wish to participate: “We hope that you will encourage others along the way to take part in the procession inviting them to say a prayer for peace and unity as we share our light of faith and love of neighbor. This is not a race. Go at your own pace. Perhaps choose four to six churches to visit and end at Epiphany at 8 p.m. for refreshments and a closing blessing.”
The following houses of worship are taking part in this special event:
Christ Episcopal Church, 3116 O St. NW, www.christchurchgeorgetown.org, 202-333-6677.
Music offered tonight. Established in 1817, Current church building built in 1885.
Christ Church Georgetown is an Episcopal community of about 1,300 people. Sunday and weekday worship are at the center of parish life, where everything begins and ends in prayer. It has a vibrant choral program as well as education for youth and adults, opportunities for spiritual growth, mission and community outreach.
Dumbarton United Methodist Church, 3133 Dumbarton St. NW, www.dumbartonumc.org, 202-333-7212.
Established in 1772; current building 1850.
In 1897, the present Romanesque front was added to the church and the stained glass windows were installed from 1898 to 1900. Inaugurated before the official creation of the Methodist Church, Dumbarton UMC, is one of the oldest continuing Methodist congregations in the world. In the late 1960s, Dumbarton began transforming itself from a strictly neighborhood church to a beacon of inclusiveness and a force for social action, drawing from the entire Washington metropolitan area.
Epiphany Catholic Church, 2712 Dumbarton St. NW, www.georgetownepiphany.org, 202-965-1610.
Adoration, confession, music and closing reception offered tonight. Established in 1925.
African-American Catholics, numbering 357, then parishioners of Holy Trinity Parish, made a decision to found their own parish. With the guidance of their first pastor, Rev. Lawrence Schaefer, came to see that dream fulfilled. Epiphany serves parishioners, those who work here daily, visitors and more and more new residents moving into the city, all worshiping in an atmosphere of beauty and peace.
Georgetown First Baptist Church, 2624 Dumbarton St. NW, www.firstbaptistgtown.org, 202-965-1899.
Gospel music offered tonight. Established in 1862.
Through its missions, deacons and other ministries, the church has impacted the lives of those in local schools, colleges, assisted living and homeless facilities. Through its partnerships, it has aided those in disaster stricken areas in the U.S. and beyond. Its aim is “to spread the gospel and love of God, locally and worldwide, and win souls for His Kingdom.” Learn more about God’s Word and how to apply it to your daily life. “O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together”! (Psalm 34:3)
Georgetown Lutheran Church, 1556 Wisconsin Ave. NW, www.byfaithhopelove.com/GTL, 202-337-9070.
Piano music offered tonight, Established in 1769 .
This congregation was founded by German Lutherans. The current sanctuary is the fourth church building on this site. The church entrance features four walls decorated with crosses from around the world. The parish hall was added on in the 1950s. Newly refurbished, it is now the rehearsal home of the National Broadway Chorus and the site of Little Steps music classes. The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts resides on the lower level of our building.
Georgetown Presbyterian Church, 3115 P St., NW, www.gtownpres.org, 202-338-1644.
Music offered tonight. Established in 1780.
For over 235 years, GPC has been an oasis of faithful, non-partisan worship in Washington. Today, its growing church led by three young pastors is committed to excellent preaching, music, scholarship, mission and outreach. So young or old, left or right, new to church or seeking a deeper experience of God, you are invited to GPC: “Your Sanctuary in the City.”
Georgetown Visitation Monastery Chapel, 1524 35th St., NW, 202-337-3350.
History and tradition will be shared by the sisters. Established in 1799.
Founders Hall, where guests will enter and proceed to the Monastery Chapel for prayer, dates back to the 1870s but was destroyed by fire in 1993 and rebuilt and reopened two years later. The Sisters of the Visitation are a monastic order and reside on campus. They operate a Catholic secondary school for almost 500 young women in the tradition of St. Francis deSales and St. Jane deChantal, the founders of the Visitation Order.
Grace Episcopal Church, 1041 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-333-7100, www.gracedc.org.
Organ music will be offered tonight. Established in 1866.
In the words of the original property deed, the church’s mission is to “serve the working people of lower Georgetown.” It has an active outreach to homeless neighbors in partnership with Georgetown Ministry Center, located at Grace. The church also houses Georgetown Montessori. Active choir, Sunday school. Programs include annual Bach Festival in July and music (mostly jazz) on the lawn in September.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 1315 36th St., NW, www.trinity.org, 202-337-2840.
Mass offered at 5:30 p.m. Original church established in 1794; current church completed in 1851.
Founded in 1787 at the direction of Bishop John Carroll, founder of George Town College, and completed in 1794, with Rev. Francis Neale, S.J., one of four brothers of an old Maryland family its first pastor, Holy Trinity Parish has played an important role in the development of Catholicism in America. The first contribution for a second and larger church (1315 36th St. NW) came only 35 years after the construction of the first (3513 N St. NW). The cornerstone of the new church was laid in 1849, and in 1851 Bishop Armand Charbonnel of Toronto dedicated the Greco-Roman adaptation that is today’s Holy Trinity Church.
Jerusalem Baptist Church, 2600 P St. NW, www.jbcgdc.org, 202-965-2439.
Gospel Music will be offered tonight, Established in 1918.
In 1870, the first worship services were held in the Old Quaker Building (17th and N Streets, NW). Its first pastor was the Reverend Samuel Washington of Richmond, Virginia. In 1906, the Reverend George H. Harris purchased the property at the corner of 26th and P Streets, NW and under his leadership, the first building for the 7th Baptist Church was erected on the corner of 26th and P Streets and the name of the church was subsequently changed to “Jerusalem Baptist Church.” The current pastor, Rev. Rodney Teal, continues “our legacy of Kingdom-focused, servant-leadership.”
National Community Church (meets at Georgetown Loews AMC Movie Theater on Sunday mornings) 3111 K St. NW., www.theaterchurch.com/location/georgetown, 202-544-0414.
Established in 1996. Members will be traveling troubadours on Saturday and say, “We believe that if you want to reach people no one is reaching, you have to do things no one is doing. We want to be more known for what we’re for than what we are against. We want to be great at the great commandment, the great commission. We strive to make the name of Jesus famous in our generation.”
St. John’s Anglican Church, 3240 O St. NW, www.stjohnsgeorgetown.org, 202-338-1796.
In 1769, land was set aside by the Church of England on a site of the future St. John’s. By 1796, a foundation was laid for a two-story building measuring 42 feet by 51 feet. Around 1804, the church was near completion. After years of growth followed by years of financial problems, St. John’s was closed in 1831, sold and rented as a studio for the German sculptor Ferdinand Pettrich. Today, it is a joy-filled Episcopal church.